Difference Between Running Tights And Leggings For 2021

Think of running in the morning cold, you might have to ponder over a whole debate on what outfit is perfect for the moment.

From sports bras, tank tops, tights, leggings and other sportswear, it can be intimidating to choose what is right for you.

However, an appropriate decision can be the impetus for a boost in confidence and performance.

Getting fired up for an exercise or sport with the correct gear isn’t only stylish, colorful but also makes you look cool. Running tights or leggings are such comfy, light and breathable easy decisions.

One of the obvious benefits for wearing either of the two is that they help maintain your body blood circulation normal as you push your physical limits during the workout.

Your muscles also get to stay in form as your body exudes more power and vigor, a healthy way to keep your heart and lungs at their best.

But more often than not, many confuse between running tights and leggings for all the unusual reasons. Admissibly, they look similar. This article helps you draw a line Difference Between Running Tights and Leggings. But first,

What Are Running Tights

You must have checked into a yoga class or gym to an audience in a variety of running tights. These are body fittings that usually cover the waist straight up to the knees and can easily stretch.

For those that don’t cover the feet, it doesn’t necessarily imply they are leggings but they acquire a technical slogan; ‘footless tights’.


These pantyhose wear is made of thin materials and fabric, usually polyester, nylon or cotton. They come in diverse designs, colors, and patterns.

Running tights are mostly translucent, a reason why they are not ideal as standalone garments.

Hence, don’t hit the road wearing tights without anything on the top; this might turn out to be a fashion malfunction of the day.

They can be favorite fashion wear with the ladies to rock under skirts or shorts during a workout, perhaps for the sake of modesty.

No argument though, every woman can be very choosy and would pull off this outfit staple; their taste of style and set of rules.

In most cases, they are a little bit cheaper than leggings because of their light material.

So, can men also wear running tights?

Yes, they can. You must have noticed most of the athletes in some as well. Running tights make your body feel lighter and flexible, the much-needed motivation for speed.

They help you swank outdoors wicking away the sweat as the breeze cools you down. But frankly, there are those who don’t like the tightness on their skin.

However, running tights are today growing popular among male runners than they used to a few years ago.

What Are Running Leggings

You might be tempted to think leggings look like tights at first glance but they slightly contrast on appearance and material design.

These are close-fitting trousers often made of a stretchy but strong thicker fabric usually opaque. They could also be made from other materials like spandex or polyester.


These sweatpants are worn by women and girls over normal trousers for protection or while running. In addition, they can be worn under long T-shirts or tunics. Besides, one can rock them with sneakers and riding boots.

Usually, running leggings can run from the waist to the ankle but not up to the feet like in the case of some running tights.

Just like tights, they are pricier than given their thick material construction though expect to across brands fairly cheaper as well.

Core Distinguishing Characteristics Between Running Tights and Leggings

Moving away swiftly from the distinctive definitions, what are other major differences between running tights and leggings? We can base it on a number of aspects.

   Wear and Material Strength

Running leggings can be worn in any season during workouts as they provide a perfect insulation for the skin.

For instance, you can take a look at the faux suede and faux leather; they are favorite fashion wear for anybody striking in a chic and modern look.


They are largely comfortable outfits for women who want to reveal their sexy lower body contours while doing a morning run. Also, women can wear them under dresses or skirts, especially during the cold weather.

It is pretty easy to wear running leggings since they are largely made of plastic material and are usually patterned. Unlike, running tights, leggings aren’t exposed to ripping once they come into contact with rough objects or if you rub them against a rough wall.

   Body coverage

Tights cover the entire body from the waist to the toe. However, short designs can from the waist to the thigh.

Running tights worn create an impression of full body coverage and a longer leg, an alternative idea for the petite women.

But, petite athletes should be cautious when wearing ankle length leggings as they tend to portray legs shorter than actually, they are.

For those keen on body shape, tights are very effective in shaping and toning your belly appearance including buttocks, hips and the upper thigh.

On the other hand, leggings largely cover the legs. Running tights, as the name goes, usually fit so tightly.

In the case of women shorts, the fitting is so close to the skin than in those worn by men. Leggings aren’t as skin-snug as running tights.


Running tights are less durable compared to running leggings given their distinct material construction and strength.

This implies if your wardrobe is packed with more leggings than tights, you are likely to wear them for long because of their resistance to developing holes and runs on the fabric


In contrast, if it is a cold winter and you want to maintain sufficient body warmth, it is ideal to wear a legging than a tight. The thick material leggings are made of help trap heat in your skin leaving you warmer.

When to wear what? The distinction

If you want to run while on a sweater and you are torn apart between a tight and a legging, a legging could effortlessly win. As opposed to tights, they complement your look with ease, especially when on a long shirt paired with a short jacket.

Furthermore, women runners with midriffs and larger frames would find it relaxed to achieve an elegant appearance with control-top leggings. This includes those seeking a slim figure.

Thin-figured women often wear leggings while out jogging with a long top for a mid-buttock stretch. Probably anything short might leave your body a little overexposed.

But what if you want to try out a variety of outfits?

A mid-calf Capri legging will bring out the glare perfectly. Unlike tights, you can wear leggings as pants for a personal sense of style regardless of your taste. In any case, your skin won’t be seen.

Do you want to wear some boots and ballet flats? Tights are much way better than leggings. However, leggings can be an excellent outfit when trying on heels, open-toes shoes or sneakers.

Remember, the kind of shoes to wear determines the ultimate look you want to achieve as well.

Tights can be worn for a casual or professional look in the corporate world as undergarments but leggings are largely casual. This is why they are ideal running outfits including for other sports like horse racing.

   Distant Appearance

Tights are lacy see-through outfits as opposed to running leggings. For women who want to spot something brighter, shiny or smooth, leather leggings will make you look gorgeous.

   Designs compared

As much as running tights and leggings come in diverse designs, the two are distinct in design. Leggings can have reinforcements at the crotch or zippered with pockets. On the other hand, tights come in sheer material, a reason they are very revealing.

   Maintenance and care

Leggings can be washed just like other ordinary pants but tights require special attention for them to last you for long. The most appropriate way to wash them is putting them inside mesh bags.

   Weather, safety, and performance

Do you want something light in weight but able to protect against your skin from elements like sun UV rays and wind?

A running tight can still make you look sexy and cool. This is because they are designed with moisture control and air ventilation in perspective.

Some modern running tights are made of insulating fabric or thermal sealing for cold season weather conditions or chilly morning runs. Some come with water and wind resistant properties to maintain skin dryness, particularly when it’s raining. They fit in restfully and securely when speeding during the race.

Unlike running leggings, you will come across tights that double as compression gear, a perfect idea for increased muscle efficiency. Others have elastic panels for muscular support to help shawl your leg and lower back muscles.

Final Words

We hope you can now draw a line between these two running outfits for easy fashion wear next time you check outdoors. They are striking modish contrasts for a rewarding alfresco activity.

Team Chooserly

A passionate blogger! Editor at Chooserly, and a regular author at HuffingtonPost, LifeHacker & Forbes!

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